Graduate Programs Brochure

brochure cover: Elliott School Graduate Programs

If you are looking for a vibrant academic community — one with a global perspective and a commitment to the public good — then look no further than Washington, DC, and GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

SPS Research Institute

Institute for Security and Conflict Studies

Security Policy Studies M.A. Program

photo: Joanna Spear
Joanna Spear, Program Director

Security Policy Studies (SPS) is a policy-oriented master's degree program focusing on international security issues, with a particular emphasis on the security challenges for the 21st century and how to respond to them. These challenges include but are not limited to: weapons of mass destruction proliferation, transnational threats, terrorism, changing regional power dynamics, weak and failing states, international crime, effectively linking security and development, and ensuring U.S. national security.

The curriculum provides strong grounding in the national security and defense policy-making process. Students choose two specific concentrations — which can range from transnational security issues to conflict resolution to defense analysis. Students also have the option of emphasizing a particular region, such as East Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America, by selecting a regional field as one of their two concentrations.

The program's faculty includes internationally recognized authorities in international security, defense policy, foreign policy, the national security policy process, and regional and transnational security issues. Through its academic and professional skills development courses this program can open doors to future employment in the security policy institutions of the federal government, in the private sector, in international organizations such as NATO, and in the many think tanks and non-profit institutions engaged in security policy work.

In the News

Expert weighs in on Mali terror attack

November 20, 2015

Ambassador Reuben Brigety discusses an attack by jihadist militants on a prominent hotel in Mali on MSNBC.

Hospital attack reveals perils of US strategy in Afghanistan

October 05, 2015

Benjamin Hopkins parallels the current U.S. campaign in Afghanistan with past British and Soviet incursions in this Boston Globe opinion article.

Esther Brimmer Appointed by President Obama to National Security Education Board

August 28, 2015

Esther Brimmer will advise the National Security Education Program on the skills required for entering the national security workforce and provide feedback on policy and guidelines.

Obama and the Middle East: Rightsizing the U.S. Role

August 17, 2015

Prof. Marc Lynch analyzes the implementation of President Obama's Middle East strategic vision.

Lynch, Marc. "Obama and the Middle East." Foreign Affairs. Web. 18 Aug. 2015.

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

July 14, 2015

Elliott School faculty Henry Farrell and Marc Lynch offer analysis on the Iran nuclear agreement in The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog posts “The Iran deal reflects the U.S.’s overwhelming power over the world’s financial system” and “Can the Iran deal be a new Camp David?”.